Monash University CC News
Women's Round 11 v Moonee Valley
By Anna Broomhall
Welcome back! Round 11 and the first game of a new year finally came around yesterday, far too late to save the sanity of my housemate as she watched me grow progressively more restless over the course of our 3 weeks off, watching me as I played catch with myself in the pool rather than just lying on the blow up chair relaxing. She was baffled when I explained that I found anything slightly cricket related WAS relaxing. But anyhoo.
Yesterday was the start of our Jaffa-free uh, I mean Jaffa-deprived few games as she heads off to cooler climates – have a safe trip Jaff! See you when you get back! A nice addition this week was Hannah & Ella’s mum Jill who came down to help out after El hurt her knee and rested this week – Jill of course immediately christened “Mum” which lasted all day. The other addition for the day was the new scoreboard that I spent far too long making – Cocko, if you’ve made it this far into the match report, Ox seemed to remember a wager over who could do their scoreboard first – what do you owe me?
After losing another toss, I was quite happy to be sent into bat for a change. Keeping with tradition, our usual opening duo headed into the middle to face Moonee Valley, who if everyone remembers, we beat in Round 1 without losing a wicket. And watching Cat start, I thought that might be the case again as she walloped her first ball through squarish fine-leg for a boundary. Unfortunately she was undone by an entire lack of pace as she got a thick top edge which flew out to cover-point and was our first wicket down. After some spectacular hits during training, I thought Jo might enjoy a crack but she was also lulled by the bounce and what I like to call “The Lolly Effect” and her bat followed a high one past her head and scooted off into the waiting gloves of the keeper. Scooby lasted one more run before she too hit a bad shot and joined Cat & Jo in the shed.
At this stage we were 3/9 off 6 overs and Rowdy and Hannah were in the middle. Between the two of them, they knocked up a quick fire 50 partnership in less than 10 overs – Rowdy going berserk and playing superb cricket shots, my personal favourites were the two drives straight past the bowler for four. Hannah was another caught behind and Rowds fell not long after when she didn’t hit it and was given out caught behind anyway.
Maddi and I found ourselves out there at 5/64 off only 17 overs and with a long way to go. With little goals to achieve (make it to drinks, 80 runs, 30 overs etc), Maddi set about her work and aside from losing her head a couple of times and receiving lives from the opposition fielders, she played some glorious strokes and unlike me, managed to hit the gaps and get the rewards on the new scoreboard for it. With not too much effort we had a couple of overs of 4 – 6 runs and so the aim was to stay out there for as long as possible. Well that’s how I can justify my abysmal strike rate at least. After I tried to lift it over the bowlers head but didn’t manage to lift it over the mid-off’s head but was put down, Maddi tried the same but the bowler managed to snaffle it and X headed on in.
After her last couple of games wielded additions to the duck pond for our Exxy, she was under strict instructions from me to last a minimum of 5 overs. With a “pkksh”-type sound and a roll of her eyes (that I interpreted as “Sure skipper, no worries”), she took strike. While I was worried initially that she was going to swing herself off her feet or close her eyes and go the big bash, my fears were allayed as I watched her play her most composed innings since her debut last year. Accompanying a beautiful sweep shot that just got pulled up inside the boundary was a magnificent cover drive that I was watching from the boundary after I had played another stupid shot and Jaz finally got her chance in the middle with 5 overs to go after our second rain delay of the day.
With some indoor-esque shots that Cat and I both recognised, Jaz got two singles off her first two balls and was pairing with X fantastically – some good calling meaning overthrows came at a cost and some good singles. A wicket off the last ball of the day meant Jaz walked off without the little asterisk to her name but a great partnership with X got us to 121 – a fighting total after our opening 3 went cheaply.
After watching in frustration at Pakistan’s defensive fields all summer, I reacted with an even more attacking field than usual to start with. X made best use out of it first up and her opening over went wicket-noball-wicket-dot-dot-dot-dot. Cat was the one who reaped the rewards in gully – the first ball was an absolute jaffer – a head high bouncer that had the batsman raising the bat to protect her head and the ball caught high on the edge and she swallowed the rapidly rotating ball. After making a request for another catch, X obliged with another beauty, fast, outswinging and pitched up – all the right ingredients for Cat to grab a more traditional gully catch, down low, well taken.
I decided I better get on with it before Exxy stole all the wickets and with my favourite thing to do being getting the opposition skipper out, I opened my second over with a ripper before following it up with a rubbish ball, very slow but pitched up and straight so when she went down on one knee to try and sweep it through midwicket, it nicked the top of off. Eh, I’ll take it.
A few dot balls turned the pressure up before the next batsman went for it, leading edge and after calling myself in, a moment of panic as somehow my legs got tangled in each other and I momentarily thought about calling myself back out, realised that was a terrible idea so stuck the left mitt out and somehow it stuck, my right hand coming around very quickly to make sure of it and they were suddenly 4/2 after 3 overs.
X started to struggle with her runup in the wind, a few no-balls, wisely pulling out of a couple but phew the ball was coming out nicely! The batsman had absolutely no clue, Cat and I were both licking our lips as the ball passed the outside edge on numerous occasions.
With a couple of batsman in that looked like they had some idea (well more than others), Maddi did some great work at straight-ish midwicket as the batsman called 2, she did a little hop as she got to the ball to get herself in position to get rid of it quickly, winged it in and X helped it onto the stumps – great presence of mind from Maddi to prepare herself and release the ball, and from X to get herself in and not panic as the ball came in to get the bails off.
After X had 3 overs, Maddi came on for a bowl and struck with her 3rd ball, her pace completely outdoing the batsman as they went for the tonk and it went straight up, Scoobs grabbing it with the gloves. Her next over yielded the same result albeit much stranger as the batsman gloved it and Scoobs snaffled it, however no-one appealed and the batsman trudged off – the umpire declaring it obvious enough that he didn’t need to give it.
I had just brought Exxy up to almost a leg-slip position as the new batsman looked very uncertain and in one of the very few times where scenarios work in real life just as they did in my head, I scrambled the seam and kicked the ball a bit higher and it popped up nicely off the top edge to Exxy in her new position. Doesn’t happen all that often but it feels good!
With Moonee Valley playing one short, the last wicket came off the first ball of Maddi’s next over as the tonker decided to go and smashed it HIIIIIIIGH... the highest ball I think I’ve ever seen in our comp and I nervously yelled X into the catch standing at short midwicket. X steadied herself under it and did all she could before it got to her, went the fingers up option which worked well as it popped up out of her hands and as she went to her knees she managed to grab it on the way down – Moonee Valley all out for 24.
* I keep banging on about positivity & teamwork but it is such an important factor in any game. Jaz mentioned it after the game, how she feels part of it because everyone is supportive and gets behind their fellow Gryphons. In the field that manifests as backing up, being there for relay throws and getting over to a team mate for high-fives when they’ve done something well. It’s easy to get flat in the field and these little things keep us involved – when the catches come, we’re all switched on and ready to grab them!
* As Steve mentioned yesterday, after Round 2 against Coburg one of his goals for the team was to become less Scooby-reliant batting-wise. While we do love having Scooby there to smash the runs around, there will be weeks when it doesn’t happen and yesterday was one of them. For our middle & lower order to put on over 110 runs after losing both Cat & Scooby and being 3/8 is a fantastic effort all the way down the order.
* Both our youngstsers fired up yesterday. Both of Exxy’s wickets were very different but fantastic balls that exploited the batsmen and gifted Cat with her 10th & 11th catch of the season. Maddi’s pace and skidding balls continue to baffle batsmen and the wickets keep ticking over as a result. A fantastic plus for us to have both of these players with the Gryphons. Combine their bowling (5/16 off 5.1 overs) with their batting and their team work with the runout, I can’t pick a Gryph of the week between them – congrats to both for your efforts yesterday.
We have an interesting run into the finals, 5 games to go so let’s fire up – we have a week off for Australia Day this weekend but training is Wednesday night as usual so I look forward to seeing everyone then!
Cheers Gryphs, thanks to Jill for coming down and helping out yesterday!